Sunday, May 11, 2014

Roman Afternoon

A strange photo, taken last September in Doria Pamphilj Park, Rome. What was I thinking? That gesture meant what?
I walked my Houston neighborhood late this afternoon. Southerly breezes and a perfectly nice day, but I began dreaming of Rome, wondering how we might be spending a sunny afternoon there. Well, I'd like to be walking on Janiculum Hill in Doria Pamphilj Park, the largest public park in Rome and once the home of the nephew of Innocent X.
If we'd been in Rome on this warm sunny Sunday, we have walked for miles through elaborately designed gardens with rundown, but once grand statuary and grottoes without flowing water, over hillsides with towering Roman pines and across meadows with ball fields and picnickers. This park is a grand place for Roman families to wander and tourists are scarce.
After a long walk, I'd have settled for a late mid-day meal down the hill in Trastavere, perhaps beginning with a plate of fried anchovies and a half liter of local vino bianco, followed by bowls of vongole, that pasta with garlic and oil and a couple of dozen tiny clams. Earl begin to order vongole as soon as we arrived in Florence and soon I was too. Vongole is a very comforting, common and tasty dish. Finally, we think about dessert and two espressos.
Perhaps a church would be open and we could linger in a pew watching late afternoon sunlight stream through stained glass windows onto marble columns and cosmati floors. I'd take that kind of afternoon in Rome any day.
San Crisogono, Trastevere, Rome.

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